Summertime Blues

Jul 1, 2016

by David Levine, President/CEO

This New York Times article spells out the truth of the summertime experience for many American families: It is expensive.  The article also tellingly notes how the expense is doubly hard for low-income families.

With a 10- to 11-week summer vacation, working parents are stretched to pay for all the camps or other summertime activities for their children.  At an average cost of $958 per child, that amount is nearly three-quarters the monthly rent for one of our families.  It’s an expensive proposition.

Also, with only a quarter of the families with one parent at home providing for childcare duties in the summer, the costs become more a necessity than a luxury. All this comes together to create a genuine cost crisis.  Or as one advocate quoted in the article said, “Summer is the moment that really epitomizes the child care crisis.”

Thankfully, because of the fundraising in our springtime galas, GSH is able to raise funds to help struggling families living in our housing with the costs of summer camps.  Through our long-standing Children’s Resources Program, this year we might help a half dozen families, each with about a $1,500 bill on average for camps.  That is a substantial help to the many low-income working families that reside in our housing.

We do not want to see the children living in our housing “miss out” on these summertime activities.  They and their parents need the broadening experiences of a summer camp.  GSH makes it happen for many of them.